Excerpts from Kunstler's latest:
Kunstler: He Is Risen...But For How Long.
Trump was correct that the ruins of industry stand like tombstones on the landscape. The reality may be that an industrial economy is a one-shot deal. When it’s gone, it’s over. Even assuming the money exists to rebuild the factories of the 20th century, how would things be produced in them? By robotics or by brawny men paid $15-an-hour? If it’s robotics, who will the customers be? If it’s low-wage workers, how are they going to pay for the cars and washing machines? If the brawny men are paid $40 an hour, how would we sell our cars and washing machines in foreign markets that pay their workers the equivalent of $1.50 an hour. How can American industry stay afloat with no export market? If we don’t let foreign products into the US, how will Americans buy cars that are far more costly to make here than the products we’ve been getting? There’s no indication that Trump and his people have thought through any of this.
Trump can pull out the stops (literally, the regulations) to promote oil production, but he can’t alter the declining energy return on investment that is bringing down the curtain on industrial society. In fact, pumping more oil now at all costs will only hasten the decline of affordable oil. His oft-stated wish to simply “take” the oil from Middle Eastern countries would probably lead to sabotage of their oil infrastructure and the cruel death of millions. He would do better to prepare Americans for the project of de-suburbanizing the nation, but I doubt that the concept has ever entered his mind.
The problems with Obamacare, and so-called health care generally, are burdened with so many layers of arrant racketeering that the system may only be fixable if it is destroyed in its current form — the overgrown centralized hospitals, the overpaid insurance and hospital executives, the sore-beset physicians carrying six-figure college-and-med-school loans, the incomprehensible and extortionate pricing system for care, the cruel and insulting bureaucratic barriers to obtain care, the disgraceful behavior of the pharmaceutical companies, all add up to something no less than a colossal hostage racket, robbing and swindling people at their most vulnerable. So far, nobody has advanced a coherent plan for changing it. Loosing the Department of Justice to prosecute the medical racketeers directly would be a good start. Overcharging and defrauding sick people ought to be a criminal act. But don’t expect that to happen in a culture where anything goes and nothing matters. A financial crisis could be the trigger for ending the massive medical grift machine. Then what? Back to locally organized clinic-scale medicine… if we should be so lucky.
Do you suppose Trump is going to improve? That was the hope after the election: that he’d take on some POTUS polish. No, what you see is what you get. I can only imagine that what’s going on behind the scenes in various halls of power would make a Matt Damon Bourne movie look like a sensitivity training session — grave professional men and women on all fours with their hair on fire howling into the acoustical ceiling tiles.